24 hours in Detroit with Amber Lewis, City of Detroit’s director of digital and social media

Amber Lewis is the City of Detroit’s director of digital and social media, and with that role comes knowing a thing or two about how to spend a perfect day in the Motor City. Through directing and producing custom content, shaping Detroit’s digital strategy and creating access for Detroiters to drive the narrative of the city, Lewis uses expert storytelling to grow momentum. But her day doesn't end there. She wears many hats, including brand ambassador, content creator, and experience expert, and chronicles it all on her Instagram account SocialNTheCity.

How does Lewis, 27, spend her days in the city? With 24 hours to visit her favorite locations, these are the spots she’d recommend for the ultimate Detroit experience.

Cycling session at The Vibe Ride - 6 a.m.
There's no better way to start the day than with exercise,” Lewis says, who likes to jumpstart her mornings with an early cycling session at The Vibe Ride, a fitness center near Greektown. Their classes have “vibes that are sure to make you amped to ride,” she says. Sessions are held in dance club-like atmospheres with red and green lighting. “So many things happen throughout the day, so it’s best to get it done first thing in the morning so there are no excuses.”

Breakfast at Connie and Barbara's Soul Food - 9 a.m.

"Salmon croquettes for breakfast is never a bad option" at Connie and Barbara's, Lewis says.

To refuel after her morning cycling workout, Lewis often pays a visit to Connie and Barbara’s Soul Food for breakfast. The classic soul food restaurant on Six Mile is a longtime staple for her family, Lewis says. “They don’t miss. Salmon croquettes for breakfast is never a bad option.” Connie and Barbara’s also has a special menu for breakfast served anytime.


Going home and getting some work done - 11 a.m.
Lewis then takes a break, and by break that means squeezing in a little bit of work before she goes about the rest of her day. "There’s literally not a 24-hour window where I’m not working. Let’s be real," she says.
 

Manicure and pedicure at The TEN Nail Bar - 1 p.m.

Amber Lewis at The TEN Nail Bar.

With two locations in New Center and Capitol Park, The TEN Nail Bar offers a complimentary glass of Champagne alongside its manicure and pedicure services. “My go-to for manicure and pedicure needs is The TEN Nail Bar,” Lewis says. “I can conveniently go to either [location]. Both have bellinis, which make for an even better experience for me.”

The Detroit Institute of Arts - 2 p.m.

Lewis enjoys working at the DIA’s Kresge Court, a casual service restaurant that offers sandwiches, salads, pastries, and coffee.


It’s hard not to feel inspired walking around the Detroit Institute of Arts by daytime, which hosts some of the top international fine art and relics in the country. Lewis enjoys working at the DIA’s Kresge Court, a casual service restaurant that offers sandwiches, salads, pastries, and coffee. While working, she makes sure to take time to admire the history and art that surrounds the court, which alone is known for its stunning architecture, ambiance, and sun-filled space.

Photo shoot with somebody for something - 3 p.m.
Lewis then goes back into work mode. "I’m literally always shooting. Photos, video, some kind of campaign is happening and I’m either in front of the camera or directing the shoot. Probably with Bre’ann White, Super Cyrus B, Connect With Lo, Row Whlgn or Touch and Jermme. I’m most consistently shooting with them," she says.


Shopping in Parker's Alley - 5 p.m.



Featuring restaurants, bars, and shops, Detroit’s Parker Alley is home to two of Lewis’ go-to local retailers: Détroit Is The New Black and The Lip Bar. 
"DITNB is one of my favorite places in the city," Lewis says. "It's owned by a Black woman, the store is carefully curated with sustainable designers, and has art gallery feels. One of my favorite parts about it is the scent, their signature Det scent is earthy and light and comes in a rollerball that I wear."

Just a quick walk away is The Lip Bar, a Detroit-based beauty line that offers vegan, cruelty-free products. Founded by Melissa Butler, who was initially featured on "Shark Tank" for her idea and turned down, The Lip Bar’s flagship store opened in Parker Alley in 2019. "If you know me, you know I’m a #LipBarBabe. I’m always in the product, in the store, and they’ve been consistent with rolling out some new pieces. Always worth a pop-in."
 

Dinner at The Block - 7 p.m.
Lewis then heads over to Midtown's The Block for dinner. "They’re consistent. The sweet chili wings, salmon burger, and shrimp and grits are my fave," Lewis says.

Drinks at Candy Bar - 9 p.m.

The posh and intimate Candy Bar at The Siren Hotel is Lewis' spot for date-night drinks or cocktails with small groups.


Decked out in pink decor and velvet, Candy Bar Detroit is a must for photos. This small, cozy space features craft cocktails — many of which are pink — and is perfect for date nights or small groups. “I value intimate experiences,” Lewis says, “and that's exactly what the Candy Bar is. 
If it’s jam-packed I’ll hit up Karl’s where the cocktails are just as good or stop into Paramita Sound."

Dancing at Marble Bar - 11 p.m.
From Detroit techno and house, to hip-hop and soul, Marble Bar hosts a variety of events with something for everyone to enjoy. With a large indoor dance floor and outdoor seasonal space, Marble Bar is home to many of Detroit’s best and most celebrated late-night dance parties. Lewis likes to cap off her night dancing at the music venue, located by the Motown Museum. "Girls just want to have fun and women want to be wild," she says.

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